The Nigerian military responded with anger Thursday after its soldiers were dismissed by the defence authorities of Niger as “cowards”, in a rare public tit-for-tat between the two countries involved in the fight against extremist group, Boko Haram.
Niger’s Defence Ministry had in an earlier statement said its soldiers, unlike their Nigerian counterparts, do not run away in the face of battle with Boko Haram militants.
“Our soldiers are not like Nigerians. They don’t run,” the statement said.
In series of tweets, the Nigerian Defence Spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, branded Nigerien soldiers “looters”, and accused them of providing fighters to Boko Haram.
Mr. Olukolade said it was unacceptable for Niger, involved in a Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, with Nigeria, Cameroun and Chad, to insult Nigerian soldiers who fight to defend their country.
Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, described the Nigerien military as “treacherous” and “poor”.
“Re: NIGER – Nigerian Soldiers remain undaunted despite attacks and insults. They have been maximizing the use of available resources to../1”
In his tweets, the general, however assured that the Nigerian military and its soldiers will not be deterred by the insult, as they were focused on clearing the country of the insurgents.